A state budget appropriation measure passed last months serves as a reminder that taxpayers in Arkansas are still heavily subsidizing the Arkansas Lottery’s college scholarship fund.

When voters passed the constitutional amendment legalizing the state-run lottery in 2008, Arkansans were promised that lottery ticket sales would generate $100 million per year for college scholarships.

Since then, the Arkansas Lottery has struggled to live up to those promises, and the Arkansas Legislature has continued to budget millions of dollars in taxpayer funding to supplement lottery scholarships each year.

In April the legislature appropriated $25 million for the Academic Challenge Scholarship — the scholarship that the lottery funds — for the state’s upcoming 2023-2024 budget cycle.

Even though the Arkansas Lottery makes hundreds of millions of dollars every year, relatively little money goes to students — and regular taxpayers still end up footing part of the bill for the scholarships.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Photo Credit: Powerball and Mega Millions Lottery Billboard in Missouri by Tony Webster, on Flickr.